Architects Group Brings Tradeshow Management In-house
This gave the AIA more opportunities to connect with vendors
Andrew Flank arrived at the American Institute of Architects (AIA) in the fall of 2022 as its senior vice president of sales, events, and exhibitions. Rather than ease into the job slowly, he made a substantial decision almost immediately: AIA parted ways with the vendor managing its annual conference's tradeshow and instead brought those operations in-house.
Flank, like AIA CEO Lakisha Ann Woods, CAE, had previously worked at the National Association of Home Builders, where they saw the benefits of that approach. "She saw the potential value that operating your own show could bring to the organization," he said. "It's not only about money. There are hundreds of exhibitors whose only point of contact is with a third party. Those exhibitors could be sponsors, advertisers, donors, members, partners. When you outsource those relationships, I think you miss out on some of that holistic value."
This year’s conference, held in San Francisco, drew more than 15,000 attendees and 500 exhibitors according to a report, on par with 2022 attendance and close to its pre-pandemic levels. (AIA canceled its 2020 and 2021 in-person annual conferences.)
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